Not only did the Jaguars and the Patriots deliver a dramatic finish to the AFC Championship Game Sunday night, the television ratings were also solid for CBS and as you would expect, massive in Jacksonville.
First, some context.
As we wrote last week, the Divisional Round ratings on TV continued a downward trend overall, although the Sunday night Vikings-Saints wild finish gave Fox an early Sunday evening boost.
Next, the Jaguars and Patriots were playing in the “early window” of Championship Sunday, meaning there was less audience around/watching TV Sunday afternoon, as opposed to the Eagles and Vikings who started at 6:45 p.m. Eastern and were in Prime Time for much of the country.
Still, the Jacksonville-New England game scored exceptionally well for CBS and they touted that this morning:
— CBS Sports PR (@CBSSportsGang) January 22, 2018
CBS will not announce the final national audience numbers until likely tomorrow morning, but the 27.3 rating in the 3-6 p.m. time slot translates to around 46 million people. That is a massive number and will be the largest audience other than the Super Bowl to watch anything on any TV channel the rest of this year.
Next, as expected, in the Jacksonville market the number was an enormous 48 rating and 70 share. That means that 70% of the television sets that were turned on in the area Sunday were watching the Jaguars battle for the Super Bowl.
Here’s an excellent breakout chart on previous ratings and Sunday’s AFC Championship Game is in line with the previous few years of “early window” games.
The lone exception is the game two years ago where the Peyton Manning led Broncos knocked off the Brady-Patriots and got the highest rating (even in an early window) of 31.8 nationally, for a Championship Game, since the Giants vs. 49ers NFC Championship battle in 2012.
NFL Conference Championship overnight ratings 2006-2018: pic.twitter.com/71KocEKQNQ
— Sports TV Ratings (@SportsTVRatings) January 22, 2018
It’s also worth pointing out, that due to the Eagles blowing out the Vikings, the Fox Prime Time rating tanked by three rating points.
So, the Jags-Pats audience is likely going to end up being 3-3.5 million viewers higher.
In short, a tremendous amount of fans watched the likes of Bortles, Fournette, Ramsey, etc. duke it out with the great Patriots.
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